12 7 / 2013

Call Me by Your Name (2007) Ande Aciman
Seventeen-year-old Elio faces yet another lazy summer at his parents’ home on the Italian coast. As in years past, his family will host a young scholar for six weeks, someone to help Elio’s father with his research. Oliver, the handsome American visitor, charms everyone he meets with his cavalier manner. Elio’s narrative dwells on the minutiae of his meandering thoughts and growing desire for Oliver.

Call Me by Your Name (2007) Ande Aciman

Seventeen-year-old Elio faces yet another lazy summer at his parents’ home on the Italian coast. As in years past, his family will host a young scholar for six weeks, someone to help Elio’s father with his research. Oliver, the handsome American visitor, charms everyone he meets with his cavalier manner. Elio’s narrative dwells on the minutiae of his meandering thoughts and growing desire for Oliver.

03 7 / 2013

The Swimming Pool Library (1988) Alan Hollinghurst
In 1983 London, the privileged, gay, and apparently sexually irresistible 25 year-old protagonist Will saves the life of an elderly aristocrat having a heart-attack in a public lavatory. This chance meeting sets in process a chain of events that will ultimately require the highly intelligent but essentially carefree Will to substantially re-evaluate his sense of the past and of his family’s history.

The Swimming Pool Library (1988) Alan Hollinghurst

In 1983 London, the privileged, gay, and apparently sexually irresistible 25 year-old protagonist Will saves the life of an elderly aristocrat having a heart-attack in a public lavatory. This chance meeting sets in process a chain of events that will ultimately require the highly intelligent but essentially carefree Will to substantially re-evaluate his sense of the past and of his family’s history.

29 6 / 2013

The Line of Beauty (2004) Alan Hollinghurst
In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-and Catherine, highly critical of her family’s assumptions and ambitions. As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family. His two vividly contrasting love affairs, one with a young black clerk and one with a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty, a pursuit as compelling to Nick as the desire for power and riches among his friends. 

The Line of Beauty (2004) Alan Hollinghurst

In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-and Catherine, highly critical of her family’s assumptions and ambitions. 

As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick, an innocent in the world of politics and money, finds his life altered by the rising fortunes of this glamorous family. His two vividly contrasting love affairs, one with a young black clerk and one with a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty, a pursuit as compelling to Nick as the desire for power and riches among his friends. 

27 6 / 2013

The Song of Achilles (2011) Madeline Miller
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks” - strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess - Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine - much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’s mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. 

The Song of Achilles (2011) Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks” - strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess - Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine - much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’s mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. 

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. 

25 2 / 2012

The Vinland Sheep (2004) Helen Shaklady
An adventure story, set between Autumn 1470 and Spring 1471, that centres around two families, one English, one Welsh. The attraction between Agnes and Gwyneth simmers next to the Wars of the Roses and the myriad excitements that voyages across the Atlantic generated.

The Vinland Sheep (2004) Helen Shaklady

An adventure story, set between Autumn 1470 and Spring 1471, that centres around two families, one English, one Welsh. The attraction between Agnes and Gwyneth simmers next to the Wars of the Roses and the myriad excitements that voyages across the Atlantic generated.

24 2 / 2012

Mistress Moderately Fair (1988) Katherine Sturtevant
In 17th century London’s theater district, muddy streets and stimulating coffee houses, a sensitive romance develops between two women Margaret Featherstone, a playwright, and Amy Dudley, a mysterious and talented actress. Beyond the challenge of maintaining their illicit relationship, the women grapple with the choice of fulfilling love or ambition. 
Despite their intimacy, Amy does not reveal her troubled past to Margaretand her abrupt disappearance wounds her lover deeply. To assuage the pain, Margaret returns to “the strange, lonely world of invention” to write her finest play. The new work demands an exceptional actress, and both Cary and Margaret determine it must be Amy. The search for her moves rapidly toward the stunning and well-crafted denouement.

Mistress Moderately Fair (1988) Katherine Sturtevant

In 17th century London’s theater district, muddy streets and stimulating coffee houses, a sensitive romance develops between two women Margaret Featherstone, a playwright, and Amy Dudley, a mysterious and talented actress. Beyond the challenge of maintaining their illicit relationship, the women grapple with the choice of fulfilling love or ambition.

Despite their intimacy, Amy does not reveal her troubled past to Margaretand her abrupt disappearance wounds her lover deeply. To assuage the pain, Margaret returns to “the strange, lonely world of invention” to write her finest play. The new work demands an exceptional actress, and both Cary and Margaret determine it must be Amy. The search for her moves rapidly toward the stunning and well-crafted denouement.

13 2 / 2012

While England Sleeps (1995) David Leavitt
Set against the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe, While England Sleeps tells the story of a love affair between the aristocratic young British writer Brian Botsford, who thinks homosexuality is something he will outgrow, and Edward Phelan, a sensitive and idealistic working-class employee of the London Underground and a Communist party member. When the strains of class difference, sexual taboo, and Brian’s ambivalence impel Edward to volunteer to fight against Franco in Spain, Brian pursues him across Europe and into the violent chaos of war.

While England Sleeps (1995) David Leavitt

Set against the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe, While England Sleeps tells the story of a love affair between the aristocratic young British writer Brian Botsford, who thinks homosexuality is something he will outgrow, and Edward Phelan, a sensitive and idealistic working-class employee of the London Underground and a Communist party member. When the strains of class difference, sexual taboo, and Brian’s ambivalence impel Edward to volunteer to fight against Franco in Spain, Brian pursues him across Europe and into the violent chaos of war.

06 2 / 2012

Love Town (2010) Michael Wikowski
Growing up queer in a communist state, queens Patricia and Lucretia spent the 70s and 80s underground, finding glamour in the squalor, strutting their stuff in parks and public toilets, seducing hard Soviet soldiers, preying on drunks, and seeing their friends die of AIDS. Today they’re about to hit Lovetown, a homo-haven, populated by a younger generation of emancipated gays, who are out and proud in their post-communist paradise: suntanned, sculpted and vigorously spending the pink euro. This is the story of the clash between old and new gays - the clapped out queens and the flashy fags - as they meet in a place where anything goes, but some things have also been lost.

Love Town (2010) Michael Wikowski

Growing up queer in a communist state, queens Patricia and Lucretia spent the 70s and 80s underground, finding glamour in the squalor, strutting their stuff in parks and public toilets, seducing hard Soviet soldiers, preying on drunks, and seeing their friends die of AIDS. Today they’re about to hit Lovetown, a homo-haven, populated by a younger generation of emancipated gays, who are out and proud in their post-communist paradise: suntanned, sculpted and vigorously spending the pink euro. This is the story of the clash between old and new gays - the clapped out queens and the flashy fags - as they meet in a place where anything goes, but some things have also been lost.

02 2 / 2012

Dead Horsemeat (2008) Dominique Mancotti
A group of school friends from the heady days of 1968 France take centre stage in this racy account of horse racing, public corruption, and criminal intent. Agathe Renourd and her protege Nicolas Berger are in charge of the communications network of a major European insurance consortium. Christian Deluc has become a council member at the Elysee Palace, and Amelie raises thoroughbreds. Now, in 1989, their paths cross in an unexpected fashion as events begin to spiral out of control. Racehorses die under mysterious circumstances, unimaginable quantities of cocaine appear at Parisian parties, and the dashing Nicolas Berger meets a violent end when a bomb explodes in his car. The search for resolution produces a dark ride filled with political intrigue and mystery.

Dead Horsemeat (2008) Dominique Mancotti

A group of school friends from the heady days of 1968 France take centre stage in this racy account of horse racing, public corruption, and criminal intent. Agathe Renourd and her protege Nicolas Berger are in charge of the communications network of a major European insurance consortium. Christian Deluc has become a council member at the Elysee Palace, and Amelie raises thoroughbreds. Now, in 1989, their paths cross in an unexpected fashion as events begin to spiral out of control. Racehorses die under mysterious circumstances, unimaginable quantities of cocaine appear at Parisian parties, and the dashing Nicolas Berger meets a violent end when a bomb explodes in his car. The search for resolution produces a dark ride filled with political intrigue and mystery.

26 1 / 2012

The Spectacle Salesman’s Family (2007) by Viola Roggenkamp
Paul Schiefer is a travelling spectacles salesman. Every Monday morning he leaves Hamburg on a week-long sales trip. His wife, his mother-in-law and his two teenage daughters Fania and Vera see him off with abundant hugs and kisses, and they welcome him back with equal exuberance on Friday evening - just in time for Sabbath eve. While her husband is away, Alma Schiefer defends the wellbeing of her family with an explosive mixture of ferocious love and extreme determination. Thirteen-year-old Fania is torn between the comfort of home and the fearful thrills of the unknown outside world, a sixties world that contains student protest, beehive hairdos, Israel and the Six Day War, politics, religion, revolution and …the promise of love. Sensual, funny and acerbic, The Spectacle Salesman’s Family is a brilliant, vivid portrait of Jewish life in post-Holocaust Germany that continues the Jewish tradition of memorialising, recounting the details in order to hold onto the past and its lessons.

The Spectacle Salesman’s Family (2007) by Viola Roggenkamp

Paul Schiefer is a travelling spectacles salesman. Every Monday morning he leaves Hamburg on a week-long sales trip. His wife, his mother-in-law and his two teenage daughters Fania and Vera see him off with abundant hugs and kisses, and they welcome him back with equal exuberance on Friday evening - just in time for Sabbath eve. While her husband is away, Alma Schiefer defends the wellbeing of her family with an explosive mixture of ferocious love and extreme determination. Thirteen-year-old Fania is torn between the comfort of home and the fearful thrills of the unknown outside world, a sixties world that contains student protest, beehive hairdos, Israel and the Six Day War, politics, religion, revolution and …the promise of love. Sensual, funny and acerbic, The Spectacle Salesman’s Family is a brilliant, vivid portrait of Jewish life in post-Holocaust Germany that continues the Jewish tradition of memorialising, recounting the details in order to hold onto the past and its lessons.